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It's not because they're scared of the dark!
Coral reefs are known for their beautiful colours and amazing wildlife. They also perform critical functions like filtering sea water and removing excess carbon dioxide from the oceans. Corals are actually made up of countless colonies of tiny animals which use sunlight to survive. In addition to needing the right type of light, corals also need specific cycles of light and dark to thrive and reproduce.
We grow living corals here at the Vancouver Aquarium and depend on specialized lights that we program to match the natural photoperiods of daylight that the corals require.